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Joel Fortner


May 16, 2014

3 Stages To A Product Launch

Today’s post is by our marketing expert Joel Fortner.

Have you ever launched a new product or service and been disappointed with sales?

Product Launch,

Oftentimes, businesses work feverishly to develop something new, or revamp something old, and never say a word about it until it’s ready for launch.

This is a big mistake and a key reason why sales fall flat. The good news is, this is easy to fix.

Here are the 3 stages to a product or service launch.

1. Build desire

Make people want what you’re selling before you sell it. Regularly communicate top features and benefits of the product or service and when they can expect to get it.

2. Announce it’s for sale

Some customers will gobble up your offering immediately, but most won’t so don’t quit there. Instead, convert people who are silently considering it by continuing to communicate what they need to know, as well as testimonials.

3. Limit the offer and close the deal

If you intend to only allow people to buy at certain times, this is a critical step. People need to know and will be moved to act if they know it’s a limited offer.

On the other hand, if you launch something that will be available indefinitely, consider offering a launch deal people can only get for a limited time and make sure it’s communicated well.

Examples of businesses doing it right

A couple of months ago a new grocery store, The Fresh Market, opened in the shopping center by our home.

Months before they opened the doors, they placed a big sign along the roadway that read, “The Fresh Market Coming Soon! January 2014.”

As opening day approached, they hung a banner on the store that read “Opening Day 1/29.”

How to launch a product, how to launch a business, how to sale a new product

The Fresh Market built anticipation before opening this new store, a key part of launching a new product, service or business.

They effectively built anticipation and local buzz that lead a big opening day. Every business can do this but the “how” will vary.

Take FoxyCart for instance.

FoxyCart (client) is an ecommerce company that will soon release their 2.0 product and they’re currently building anticipation with their target market.

They’re doing this by regularly communicating updates, 2.0 features, and more via their blog, email list and social media.

Don’t forget this tiny (okay, it’s huge) detail:

Since most businesses rely so heavily on online marketing, building a quality email list is HUGE. Don’t rely solely on social media and other websites you don’t own or control.

They’re important but you’re slave to their changes.

Product and service launches are busy times. I get it. You’re in the trenches creating and fine-tuning details and working your butt off.

But if no one knows your product or service exists, your effort was for nothing and you’ve helped no one.

Good marketing must be a priority. It’s not an expense. It’s an investment into your businesses’ success and customer’s happiness when you help solve their problems.

Question: How have your launches gone? 

  • DS

    Appreciate you clearly stating this in three short steps. Looking forward to applying these…

  • Dave Hultin

    This is definitely an area in which I need to improve. I’ve tried to do a better job building anticipation by following Apple’s lead, which is similar to what you mention with the Fresh Market example. They often start with a rough “way out there date” and fine-tune the date as it gets closer. I’ve seen Apple promote their next greatest thing by saying something like “Coming Fall 2014” which turns into “Coming in September 2014” which turns into “Coming September 15, 2014.”

    I always struggle to find the sweet spot between “Finish something 100% and then determine the launch date” or “Determine the launch date and get as close to 100% as you can by the time the launch date arrives.”

    • Joel Fortner

      Dave, here’s an alternative to those two options. Produce something that’s pretty good. Share it with customers to get feedback. Make it better. Set launch date. Finish the thing. Launch it!

  • Jon D Harrison

    This will come in handy real soon….very helpful Joel, thank you sir!

    • Joel Fortner

      Sure thing!

  • Joshua Rivers

    I’m getting ready to launch my the Creative Studio, which will include an online academy. I have made a few announcements and have gotten some feedback, but I need to do some more. Part of this is creating a short video to promote the features and benefits.

    • Joel Fortner

      Keep pressing my friend!!!

  • Dale Powers

    Given where I am in the development of MY new project, this was an incredibly timely article! Thanks, Joel, and thanks, Chris!

    • Joel Fortner

      I felt it in the force!!!

  • Lily Kreitinger

    And this is why I am a huge fan of my favorite marketing coach. This post generated about 100 ideas on how I will launch my first product. Thanks, Joel!!!

    • Joel Fortner

      At your service!!!

  • Matt Ham

    I’m with McWilliams – right in the middle of this. Thanks for the insight Joel! I love the building aspect – so essential!

    • Joel Fortner

      YW! Wouldn’t you say with your book, you’re in stage 1?

      • Matt Ham

        Joel – yessir – still building. But, I have been announcing a lot more lately (podcasts, guest posts, etc.) It’s certainly not stage 2, but building in that direction. Ridiculously exciting!!

        • Joel Fortner

          Press on brother!!!!

        • DS

          Very exciting!

  • Matt McWilliams

    In the middle of a few, at the end of a few, in the beginning of some others. This is fun!


    • Joel Fortner